If you tried that exercise in my last post, you discovered that the "model-prayer" takes a mere minute or less to pray. That realization was a turning point for me - it freed me from my false belief that I had to pray for hours over something in order to pray "seriously" about it.
Jesus said, “When you pray, don’t talk on and on as people do who don’t know God. They think God likes to hear long prayers. Don’t be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask” (Matthew 6:7-8, CEV). Then Jesus followed this comment up by teaching "The Lord's Prayer."
It's been my experience that most people feel less-than-expert when it comes to praying. The disciples did, that's why they were asking Jesus in Matthew chapter six to "teach us how to pray."
There is no shortage of help in the how-to-pray department. Amazon.com offers me nearly 400,000 books on "prayer" and another 24,000 on "how to pray." A few of these I've read. The latest one was E.M. Bounds on Prayer, while the very first one I read as a brand new Christian was Becky Tirabassi's Let Prayer Change Your Life. And who could forget the best-selling Prayer of Jabez by Bruce Wilkinson? Hey, that was another power-packed short prayer.
If you've read a book that really revved up your prayer life, I would like to hear about it. Tell us the title, the author if you can remember, and most importantly, share what about it you found helpful.
KAREN, I'm so glad you gals enjoyed Jennifer Kennedy Dean's Live a Praying Life that I recommend. I hope you'll share with us some more of what you got out of that study!
So you know by now that I'm not one to make you feel like you have to spend hours in prayer every day to call yourself a Christian. In fact, what I see in the Bible is that God is more interested in frequency of prayer than in duration. Well, frequency coupled with faith. He wants us turning to Him through out the day, for all our needs. But not because He needs us to talk for hours convincing Him of our needs with many words - He already knows our needs before we ask, and He sees our hearts.
I believe He wants us to state our needs, and hand them over to Him with faith that He hears and will answer according to His perfect will. And then to rest and be grateful in that. And should we not see His answer right away, to not give up hope but be willing to persist praying for that with faith.
Let's look some more tomorrow at Jesus' prayer life - stay tuned.
PS. I love hearing yall's personal tips like praying while brushing your teeth, keeping a list at work, and writing on the bathroom mirror with erasable marker. :)